Facebook “Seen By”…TOO Much Information

Facebook Seen By Feature.  Photo Courtesy of the Facebook Newsroom. July 11, 2012.


Facebook, one of the world’s most used social media pages, has taken being social within Facebook groups to empowering users to become “Big Brother” in them.

On July, 11, 2012, Facebook released a news update to its site on the new “Seen by” feature.

Here is the official statement on their site:

Facebook groups are spaces where you can share things with the people who care about them most.  You can use groups to connect with important sets of people like your family, soccer team or book club. 

Starting today when you visit a group, you can view who’s seen each post.  This way you can stay updated on the group’s activity.

For example, in your soccer group you can post the new practice time and then see who got the update.


Perhaps pitched in this light it sounds great. However, it provides a “Big Brother” aspect, we’re just not sold on as being a benefit to the members. For example, let’s just say you are in a business group with 500 people. Perhaps there are 20 plus posts daily in the group. Some of which may address you and your industry while others do not. By marking a post as seen, does this make the post seem even more relevant to the person posting it or reading it in the group?

Here are 3 reasons why we are not a fan of the new feature.

  1. It will be used as a metric to gauge if people are interested in the post, when indeed people could be just scrolling through looking for a response to another post.
  2. Perhaps there are posts you are not ready to respond to or actually look further into. This feature will mislead the person who posted the event. Basically, just because a name appears in the list of people who supposedly saw the post, does not mean, one actually read the text.
  3. Way too much trust has been provided by Facebook to humankind that people will not suddenly become upset if no one actually comments on the post, reportedly seen.

There is definitely some skepticism in this camp as to if this is a feature Facebook should have added.  It also leaves to question, will Facebook start reporting on who has seen news feed status updates or who has viewed photos?  Both could lead to a lot of issues in regards to romantic interests, etc.

What do you think?  Seen by… Dump it or Keep it?


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